Esther S. Bullitt, PhD

Professor, Pharmacology, Physiology & Biophysics

Esther Bullitt


Structural studies of biological macromolecular assemblies are providing an understanding of cellular function. In our laboratory, we utilize electron microscopy and image reconstruction to investigate questions about microbial virulence.

Work in the lab currently focuses on bacterial adhesion pili (fimbriae), type III secretion system needles, and virus replication. These projects address basic medical research questions directed at understanding bacterial adhesion to human host tissue and viral replication. Our data support development of novel therapeutics targeting these important health issues including, for example, development of a vaccine against traveler’s diarrhea.

Other Positions

  • Graduate Faculty (Primary Mentor of Grad Students), Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine, Graduate Medical Sciences


  • Brandeis University, PhD
  • Grinnell College, AB

Classes Taught

  • GMSBY871
  • GMSBY872
  • GMSBY945
  • GMSBY946


  • Published on 8/19/2023

    Jayaraman S, Urdaneta A, Bullitt E, Fändrich M, Gursky O. Lipid clearance and amyloid formation by serum amyloid A: exploring the links between beneficial and pathologic actions of an enigmatic protein. J Lipid Res. 2023 Sep; 64(9):100429. PMID: 37604227.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 7/22/2023

    Thairatana S, Doran M, Sonani RR, Egelman EH, Bullitt E. New Morphologies of Hib Adhesion Pili. Microsc Microanal. 2023 Jul 22; 29(29 Suppl 1):937. PMID: 37613394.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 5/22/2023

    Klimtchuk ES, Peterle D, Bullitt E, Connors LH, Engen JR, Gursky O. Role of complementarity-determining regions 1 and 3 in pathologic amyloid formation by human immunoglobulin ?1 light chains. Amyloid. 2023 Dec; 30(4):364-378. PMID: 37216473.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 3/30/2023

    Doran MH, Baker JL, Dahlberg T, Andersson M, Bullitt E. Three structural solutions for bacterial adhesion pilus stability and superelasticity. Structure. 2023 May 04; 31(5):529-540.e7. PMID: 37001523.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 1/12/2023

    Doran MH, Rynkiewicz MJ, Rassici D, Bodt SML, Barry ME, Bullitt E, Yengo CM, Moore JR, Lehman W. Conformational changes linked to ADP release from human cardiac myosin bound to actin-tropomyosin. J Gen Physiol. 2023 Mar 06; 155(3). PMID: 36633586.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 12/6/2022

    Kaserman JE, Werder RB, Wang F, Matte T, Higgins MI, Dodge M, Lindstrom-Vautrin J, Bawa P, Hinds A, Bullitt E, Caballero IS, Shi X, Gerszten RE, Brunetti-Pierri N, Liesa M, Villacorta-Martin C, Hollenberg AN, Kotton DN, Wilson AA. Human iPSC-hepatocyte modeling of alpha-1 antitrypsin heterozygosity reveals metabolic dysregulation and cellular heterogeneity. Cell Rep. 2022 Dec 06; 41(10):111775. PMID: 36476855.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 12/2/2022

    Doran MH, Rynkiewicz MJ, Pavadai E, Bodt SML, Rasicci D, Moore JR, Yengo CM, Bullitt E, Lehman W. Myosin loop-4 is critical for optimal tropomyosin repositioning on actin during muscle activation and relaxation. J Gen Physiol. 2023 Feb 06; 155(2). PMID: 36459134.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 7/13/2022

    Werder RB, Liu T, Abo KM, Lindstrom-Vautrin J, Villacorta-Martin C, Huang J, Hinds A, Boyer N, Bullitt E, Liesa M, Silverman EK, Kotton DN, Cho MH, Zhou X, Wilson AA. CRISPR interference interrogation of COPD GWAS genes reveals the functional significance of desmoplakin in iPSC-derived alveolar epithelial cells. Sci Adv. 2022 Jul 15; 8(28):eabo6566. PMID: 35857525.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 6/24/2022

    Hume AJ, Heiden B, Olejnik J, Suder EL, Ross S, Scoon WA, Bullitt E, Ericsson M, White MR, Turcinovic J, Thao TTN, Hekman RM, Kaserman JE, Huang J, Alysandratos KD, Toth GE, Jakab F, Kotton DN, Wilson AA, Emili A, Thiel V, Connor JH, Kemenesi G, Cifuentes D, Mühlberger E. Correction: Recombinant Lloviu virus as a tool to study viral replication and host responses. PLoS Pathog. 2022 Jun; 18(6):e1010659. PMID: 35749346.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 4/30/2022

    Dahlberg T, Baker JL, Bullitt E, Andersson M. Unveiling molecular interactions that stabilize bacterial adhesion pili. Biophys J. 2022 Jun 07; 121(11):2096-2106. PMID: 35491503.

    Read at: PubMed

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